The following is an except from “How to Stay on God’s Surgery Table” written by Haley Johnson.
“Yet now, I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so we were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death…”. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
There is a difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow’s fruit is repentance that leads to salvation – hope, heart change, and life transformation. Worldly sorrow leads to walking in the flesh and spiritual death. Worldly sorrow is characterized by “sorry, not sorry.” I am sorry I got into trouble, I am sorry I was caught, I am sorry that I hurt you, and it stops there due to passivity, over-valuing comfort, hardness of heart and pride.
One of best prayers you can pray in the midst of conviction is “God, don’t lift your hand of discipline until it’s accomplished what you intended and help me to stay under it well.” Be careful though – because you just gave God an open door to meddle and the outcome is so magnificent that your enemy HATES it. The enemy’s number one game plan is pride. Pride keeps up from humbling ourselves and that stops the flow of grace.
The first tool needed to stay on the surgery table is humility. It takes humility to recognize that we don’t have the ability to change on our own. We can be great at behavior modification – but a heart change is done through God’s great mercy. Behavior modification only lasts so long until what is in the heart pours out. Matthew 12:34 puts it this way “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Humility is what allows us to even get onto the surgeons table and then stay there. Surgery can be painful as we allow God to bring out of darkness what was hidden. Humility is what keeps us from closing up and getting off the table when we face our fears, shame, lies we believe and the rush for comfort.